Sonntag, 27. Oktober 2019

vegan mac & cheese 🐭🍂🕸

Long time no see … – am I still allowed in here or have I been excommunicated?
I’ve taken a good ol’ summer break that quickly turned into a late summer break and then into a full blown “summer until early autumn”-hiatus. We’ve been back from our ~ summer holiday ~ for almost two months now and although I had planned on getting back into blog stuff right after our return, I had quite a lot of other work on and had to postpone all blog related activities.

So although summer doesn’t seem that long ago, we’re in the middle of autumn already – my absolute favorite season – and I’m in a real Halloween/Spooky Season Mood. So I made vegan mac & cheese the other week and added a Halloween themed (pumpkin) twist.

The only downside of autumn though is the poor lighting. It isn’t ideal for indoor (food) photography – particularly around dinner time. So please bear with me throughout this very ~ orange ~ set of photos. The result is still very, very tasty though – promise!

First of all: Soak dem cashews. Using cashews to make creamy cheesy béchamel type sauces is the oldest trick in the (vegan’s cook) book. I soaked my bowl of cashews for a few hours – three to four at least, I’d say.
I wanted to add a Halloween-y twist so I incorporated half a pumpkin which you obviously don’t have to do. But the pumpkin adds a very nice thickness (?) to the texture of the sauce and the colour is also pretty much on point for the season.

Heat up some olive oil in a small pot, add chili flakes (optional), dice onions, peel garlic and crush the clove with the blade of a knife, chop pumpkin and sauté everything in the small pot. Deglaze with vegetable broth after ~ 4-5 minutes, add parsley, put the lid on the pot and allow to simmer until the pumpkin is fairly soft.

Since I always have to have something green with my food – and I like broccoli and kale best – (“said no-one ever” you might be thinking, but it’s actually true, I swear!), I steam cooked some green veggies to have as a side – you can totally skip this step if you’re just here for the carbs.

Take the small pot from the stove and drain the pumpkin – but save the veggie broth! Let the pumpkin cool off and cook the macaroni in the meantime. 
Drain the cashews and put them into your blender or food processor. Add coconut milk, soy sauce, nutritional yeast flakes, a pinch of salt, pepper and paprika powder, lemon juice and some more parsley and of course, the cooked pumpkin. Now, b l e n d.

Depending on the texture of your sauce, you might want to add some of the veggie broth you’ve saved. I always cook my pasta very al dente, because I want it to soak up more sauce. That’s why I added a bit of the veggie broth to make the sauce a (tiny!) bit more fluid.

Drain the pasta, put it back in the pot, add the sauce and mix everything thoroughly. Maybe add more seasoning according to your taste. My sauce ended up being very creamy, spicy and tangy, which I loved!



But into bowls and top off with some parsley and paprika powder and don’t forget to watch your favorite Halloween movie while eating these delicious mac & cheese on the couch. We watched Hocus Pocus and made some popcorn for dessert. 🍿

Hope you enjoyed – even if you don’t love Spooky Season as much as I do – I think it’s the best! 🦇🕸

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